A West Vancouver man is facing charges under the B.C. Wildlife Act over a video that allegedly shows members of his family hand-feeding bears from the window of their home.
Vitali Chevchenko has been charged with one count of feeding dangerous wildlife and one count of leaving attractants for dangerous wildlife in the July, 2017 incident.
B.C. Conservation Officer Service Deputy Chief Chris Doyle said the investigation was prompted after the video surfaced on social media in 2018.
In the video, two girls are seen feeding what appear to be crackers and French fries to two bear cubs and a sow from the open doors and windows of their home.
“The biggest concern for the COS with respect to feeding dangerous wildlife is the serious risk to public safety as well as the safety of the bear,” said Doyle in a news conference on Thursday.
“By feeding a bear or any wild animal, you’re food-conditioning the animal and putting it in harm’s way. It also puts the individual involved in the activity at risk of being hurt or worse.”
Doyle urged homeowners and park users to be careful about properly securing garbage, food or any other attractant that may be enticing to bears.
He said conservation officers have been “very busy” with bear calls across the province, including cases where the animals have been attracted to parks and campgrounds because of poorly discarded food.
– With files from Amy Judd